Skomer Island exclusive… Autumn Migration Special

Migration birdwatching event on Skomer Island

Migration birdwatching event on Skomer Island

Wryneck. Photo: Dave Astins

Wryneck. Photo: Dave Astins

We are delighted to be working with renowned Pembrokeshire bird guide Dave Astins of West Coast Birdwatching again this year, with two Autumn Migration Specials taking place on our Wildlife Trust Skomer Island on the 7th – 10th September and the 14th – 17th September.

The 3-day events are limited to 10 places which makes this such an exclusive experience.

Dave has been guiding on Skomer for many years and knows the island well. He has a habit of finding ‘something good’ and it was Dave who found the first ever snowy owl for Skomer this year!

Autumn always brings a diverse range of migrant birds to the island. Most years in September we will see birds such as wrynecks, black and common redstarts, ring ouzels and many warbler species for example yellow browed and grasshopper.

Last September more unusual highlights were a Bonelli’s warber, goshawk, red-backed shrike, grey phalarope and pectoral sandpiper. We also had regular sightings of ringtail hen harriers and one male hen harrier. Who knows what this September will bring?

September is also a great time for sea-watching. Seabirds such as great and artic skua, Balearic shearwaters, Leach’s storm petrels and Sabine’s gulls will be migrating south through the Irish sea and, if conditions are right, you may see some of these from Skomer. Talking of coastline, this time of year we will be in the heart of seal pupping season, Skomer’s beaches will have plenty of these little guys to spot.

And if all that wasn’t enough, the real reason September is my favourite time of year on the island is because of the Manx shearwaters. Mid September is the busiest time of year for fledging Manx shearwater chicks. With around 350,000 breeding pairs of shearwaters on Skomer there is nowhere better in the world to see these elusive birds that only come out of their burrows by night.

To book your place on any of these unique events please ring 01656 724100 or email: islands@welshwildlife.org . The 3 day experience costs £149pp which includes accommodation on the island.

Hope to see you in September!

Sarah Parmor  (Skomer Island Visitor Officer)